One of the most elusive and sought after coral is the Sun Coral (Tubastrea). This splendid life form is very sought after by reef enthusiasts throughout the world, and is one of the most popular corals within the LPS (Large Polyp Stony Coral) category, which also includes Favites, Dendrophyllia and Goniopora Coral.
Sun Coral Care:
These are some of the coolest corals out there because they will eat and eat, and once they are in the habit of eating at an exact time, they will extend their “fingers” at the exact time EVERY day!!
TO GET STARTED:
They may need to be trained to come out in the day – so use a small amount of liquid from a frozen fish food (defrost frozen brine shrimp, mysis in saltwater) then using ONLY the liquid, gently turkey baste the diluted liquid multiple times at the specified feeding time approx 4-5 times. Do this for 2-3 days – then you should start to see polyp extension on day 3 or 4. Once you see polyp extension, add some of the mysis or brine shrimp and begin to feed the coral.
I baste this coral with a blended mixture, brine shrimp or mysis once their polyps are fully extended. I have even fed them pieces of silver sides (cut into .5 inch chunks), they LOVE to eat.
They like moderate flow (to catch stuff as it goes by) and LOW light. They can tolerate more light but can not tolerate a lack of flow!!! On the reef they are under ledges, etc….
Great coral and everyone loves them when their flowers are completely out!!
In the wild, the Tubastrea Coral is found on reef ledges or steep reef slopes. It is a colonial coral with a rich sunny yellow coloration when open and its central skeleton is round with tubes branching off in all directions.
The Sun Coral has an uncanny resemblance to its popular cousin, the Dendro Coral, but it is important to note that the Sun Coral and the Dendro Coral are totally different species. There are three key differences between the Sun and the Dendro Coral, which are:
1. The Dendro’s tentacle/ polyps are more often than not extended during the day while the Sun Coral’s are not.
2. The Sun Corals polyp size is significant smaller than that of the Dendro Coral.
3. The two different species of corals have very diverse colony growth patterns.
The Sun Coral comes in a variety of colorful shades of orange and yellow, making it a visual delight. This coral does not have any symbiotic algae residing within its tissue therefore it is 100% dependent upon direct target feeding. It is important to feed your Sun Coral 3 to 4 times a week and provide a delicate diet mixture of mysis shrimp (just the liquid from the shrimp) no actual shrimp, fish eggs and sea food morsels. Ideally, one should defrost the mysis shrimp in saltwater and then using a turkey baster gently blow the liquid around the Sun Coral. By providing your Sun Coral a consistent diet, you should see your coral thriving in no time.
The Sun Coral is a stunning daisy-bright beauty, that tenderly swaying its polyps back and forth in a trance like motion, captivating and calming the sense. This makes this coral an ideal LPS coral for the deepest zones of your reef aquarium.